Brushing and flossing means more than just keeping up healthy teeth and gums. Your oral health has an important connection to the health of the rest of your body. This is why, when you struggle with tooth decay or gingivitis, you may be at risk of far worse diseases. According to researchers, gum disease may actually be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
This research is coming to us from the Harvard School of Public Health. According to their study, there is compelling evidence that there is a link between periodontitis and pancreatic cancer. Periodontitis is a form of gum disease which affects the gum tissues which support teeth, leading to a loss of bone structure in the jaw. It was found that men with a history of periodontitis have a 64% greater chance of developing pancreatic cancer, compared to men who never struggled with gum disease.
It is unclear whether it is the gum disease that causes pancreatic cancer, or if an increased cancer risk makes you more susceptible to gum disease, so more research is needed. One way or another, you should always keep a close eye on your teeth. Contact our Bellingham dentist for your regular appointment every six months.